‘Nada Sou Sou’: Cultural Fusion

Updated 11/22/13, 6/4/14

“Nada Sou Sou” (涙そうそう )1 was a hit single released by Natsukawa Rimi (夏川 りみ) in 2001. It inspired a movie by the same name, released on 30 Sep. 2006.2

“Nada Sou Sou” was composed by BEGIN and written by Moriyama Ryoko (森山 良子). Moriyama released the song in 1998. Here’s a quote describing the collaboration:

Moriyama and Begin met after performing at lives together in the late 1990s. Moriyama asked Begin to write her an Okinawan-style song. The song’s title on the demo tape she received was “Nada Sōsō,” an Okinawan language phrase meaning “large tears are falling” (to compare, the Japanese phrase would be namida ga poroporo kobore ochiru (涙がぽろぽろこぼれ落ちる?)). When Moriyama found out the meaning of the phrase, it reminded her of the death of her older brother. She kept the title, and based the lyrics she wrote around these feelings.3

The YouTube videos below capture performances by Natsukawa, Moriyama, and others. For me, the most moving is Moriyama’s.

The tremendous success of this song may be an indication that the future of Okinawan music lies in fusion with Japan’s more mainstream sound. Together, they create a sound that’s both unique and moving.

Natsukawa’s MV version with lyrics in English:

Moriyama’s version, performed live with introduction and lyrics in Japanese:

[Added 11/22/13] Below: Nadasousou(涙そうそう)Hawaiian Version- Teresa Bright. Uploaded to YouTube by yt96822 on 10/8/08.

[Added 11/22/13] Below: Nada Sousou – Hayley Westenra 海莉 淚光閃閃 (World Games 2009 – High Definition). Uploaded to YouTube by Hwivid on 7/17/09.

1 Also written as “Nada Sōsō.” English translation: “Tears Flow Endlessly.”
2 For more on the film, see Ascaloth’s review, “Nada Sou Sou” (Nihon Review, n.d., accessed 6.22.13). Wikipedia lists the release date as 27 Oct. 2006 (accessed 6.22.13).
3 Wikipedia, retrieved 6.22.13.

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